Thursday, January 20, 2011

Who Am I?

I've come to the realization that I need to decide what my goals are, long term. I work with a guy who runs the Wasatch 100 every year. He's the ultimate endurance junkie in our office. He's not ├╝ber fast or anything, but he can go all day, that's for sure. He and I often workout at lunch together. The other day I was doing a weights workout, and he, knowing that I like to run marathons and have been eying some cycling road races and even contemplating long course triathlon, said something that caught me a little by surprise. I don't remember it word for word, but it was something to the effect of "Be careful with all that weight lifting. You don't want to pack on a ton of muscle that you'll have to haul around during a marathon (or an ironman)."
Now the truth of the matter is I already have plenty of extra weight to haul around. I need to lose a good 20 lbs or more to be at a good "racing weight." But I need to think at what my long term end-all be-all goal is. Do I want to be an efficient marathoner and triathlete and cyclist? Is that my ultimate goal, to see how fast I can get, see if I can qualify for Boston or finish an Ironman standing up? Is my goal to become a Cat 3 or maybe even 2 cyclist, and win some races and compete in the Masters division(s)? Or is it something else?

I think I started running mainly to lose weight and get in shape. I was tired of being left behind on group hikes and mountain bike rides. I know I began mountain biking for the sheer fun of it, and its fitness benefits were just gravy. But running, and consequently distance running, and marathoning, and then triathloning and biking all evolved from the desire to not look like I was pregnant. Not too long ago the "When are you due?" jokes began at a family party, and they were directed at one of my wife's cousins. At that point, I realized that it's been a long time since someone's made that joke about me, and that made me happy. I want to look good with my shirt off at the swimming pool. So, do I worry about how packing on extra muscle is going to effect my endurance sport performance?

Like I said, at this point, I've got enough weight to lose that putting on muscle will only help in that effort, so for now, I'll keep exercising and building muscle and hopefully shedding fat. Yeah yeah, I know there's the whole diet/nutrition component. And I'm working on that, slowly. Baby steps.

I think my goals can be summed up, at least in part, by this quote from Teddy Roosevelt:

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never tasted victory or defeat.”


Kovas said...

Knowing your goals will certainly help your training. Too many muscles will definitely impede all three tri sports.

Running Diva Mom said...

Just found your blog! Have a great year of racing!

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